Archive for category serendipity

What Would Don Draper Do? – The Oatmeal

If you don’t know who Don Draper is (and so many people don’t know who he really is, so you’re not alone), then you will probably not appreciate this comic:

What Would Don Draper Do? – The Oatmeal.

Then again, you might. Oatmeal ruouulz.

How not to impress potential customers

From my inbox:

Dear New York Times Reader,

You may have received an e-mail today from The New York Times with the subject line “Important information regarding your subscription.”

This e-mail was sent by us in error. Please disregard the message. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.


The New York Times

Great story – the bank robbery

Mouse-tip to Lenz Blog.

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Autumn Glory in Japan – photo roundup

I have the honour of knowing personally some great Japanese amateur photographers and bloggers. These ladies blog in English which is not their native language (I blush to think of the results if I tried blogging in Japanese), and they do a great job, don’t you think?

Let me introduce some of them to you via their most recent blog entries, all on the subject of the changing of the leaves:

  1. Chambered Nautilus’ Blog This temple, the blog entry tells me, is home to the grave of James Kirkup, a British poet and writer who lived 30 years in Japan (click here for his obituary in the Guardian).

    Jyojakko-ji, (常寂光寺), a temple located in NW Kyoto prefecture

  2. Cosmos English Writing Blog

    Gorge, Yoshino, Nara - from Cosmos English writing blog. Click photo to see it in full size.

  3. Green Tomato

    Gingko trees in Tenri City, Nara, Japan

  4. One Time One Meeting

    Pagoda and rice field, Nara, Japan

  5. Sarah’s English Writing Blog

    Red leaves' reflection - Todaiji, Nara, Japan

  6. Stardust English Talk

    Nara, Japan

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American’s Fukushima legacy lives on | The Japan Times Online

GE manager who helped build reactor had his remains interred in prefecture

via American’s Fukushima legacy lives on | The Japan Times Online.

Say, what? Yes, it’s true! A former GE manager lies buried in Fukushima, just a few kilometres from the plant now known throughout the world. He was brought in as Japan had insufficient nuclear plant technology and know-how at that time.

The title of the article seems a little awkward. What was his legacy? The plant? The disaster? I wonder what he would think about the present crisis? Would he feel responsible in some way?

In the cemetery of Hosenji, a Buddhist temple about 8 km south of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, lie the remains of an American who worked as a General Electric Co. manager when the project to build the first reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 complex was under way.

Edward Cook, a native of San Jose, California, had returned to the United States in 1971, but after his death at age 56 in 1979 his ashes were interred at the cemetery in accordance with his wishes to rest near the Fukushima plant.

“He used to say, ‘After I die, I want to become part of the soil here so that I can help beautiful blossoms grow,’ ”

After Cook died, his Japanese friends … searched for a Buddhist temple that would take in his remains. His wife visited the country in 1980 to lay him in his final resting place at Hosenji Temple.

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Nature time lapse – scenes of Japan

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“Hours of idleness”

Pop quiz: how old would you say the writer of the following lines was?

In submitting to the public eye the following collection, I have not only to combat the difficulties that writers of verse generally encounter, but may incur the charge of presumption for obtruding myself on the world, when, without doubt, I might be, at my age, more usefully employed.

40? 50? OK, people don’t write like that any more. Still, when they DID write like that, how old would the writer be? No? Read on:

These productions are the fruits of the lighter hours of a young man who has lately completed his nineteenth year.

Preface to the first edition of “Hours of Idleness” by Lord Byron, first published in 1807.

What kind of education did he receive, to write like this at 19? With such confidence over multiple subordinate clauses? With such easy grace and self-deprecation which does not jar but rather charms? An education that included not only a great deal of reading (his preface is headed by three quotations from Horace (in the original Latin), from Homer (in the original Greek) and from Dryden), but also learning graceful good manners.

I admit I know nothing about Byron, other than that he was a poet, a ladies’ man,  an adventurer who spent some time gallivanting around southern Europe and the Near (possibly also Middle) East, who died young and swam the Bosphorus. Possibly not in that order. Read the rest of this entry »

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YouTube – Shooter Jennings – 4th of July

Catchy tune. Sweet video.  Watched it 5 times already. Ain’t tired yet.  h/t Trooper Thompson  

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YouTube – Shooter Jennings – 4th of July.

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The sexiest woman on TV

Christina Hendricks at the premiere of Serenity.
Image via Wikipedia

Christina Hendricks in Mad Men.

Season 1 is out in Tsutaya video rental stores in Japan. The series has some memorable characters; Don Draper is merely conventionally mysterious (tho his suggestion for advertising Kodak‘s slide-projector wheel is unforgettable), but son-of-the-founder Roger Sterling is witty and charming, throwing zinging one-liners like they are going out of style, and his paramour, the sexy Joan (Christina Hendricks) really make the series, as far as I’m concerned. (Joan: “You’d like to turn me into a paperweight – frozen in glass, on my back with my legs in the air.” Roger: “You paint that picture… and leave?!?”)

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Robin Hood of Las Vegas

Reading the newspaper: Brookgreen Gardens in P...
Image via Wikipedia

So reads the Telegraph headline, but it’s a little misleading (woah! says you – a newspaper that writes attention-grabbing headlines, even if they’re not quite accurate! That’s a new one!).

The gambler is not actually stealing from the rich. Still, it’s an interesting story about a remarkable man who gambles for good causes and gives the money away.  Presumably he keeps some to live on.

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